tv [untitled] August 11, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm PDT
connector in the community anymore, i am in favor of pet food express. thank you. >> hello, my name is mark pricipa, i live in san francisco, i find myself confused as to why we're having the debate as to why we should let pet express into the marina, just a few years ago, the *f you rejected this same application, what has changed since then, the threat to small business is the same, the laws are the same, just about the only thing that's changed in this equation is that there is even more opposition to pet food express since 2009, what is the point of having laws which limit the introduce of large chains if they can bully the laws and into our
neighborhoods, not taking no from the community is an answer, please say no to pet food express because of that. >> come on up. (calling speaker names). >> good evening, commissioner, president fong, my name is anna teal, and i work with national pet foods, we operate two locations in san francisco, one in the castro and one in north beach, we offer caring specialized customer service, we donate to animal causes and participate in community activity, we enhance and celebrate the neighborhoods we live in and we do the best we can with limited resources. we don't have people who lobby city hall on our behalf, we
don't have lawyers to speak at public hearings, we don't participate in redundant neighborhood business associations in order to get our foot in the door, despite the work we do for local rescues including city agencies like the acc, we don't put them in a position to advocate for private business, we don't sit in the same location where we were turned down once before while we wait for the political climate to change. any time a formula shop opens, it will hurt other similar small businesses. on a city wide scale, it changes the scale of the neighborhoods we operate in and that's not what we wan for our city. woe ear -- we're asking you to consider our position this evening. thank you for your time.
>> good evening, my name is kelly, i run a private independent dog training company. and i have clients throughout all the neighborhoods of san francisco. i drive a lot in this city back from kristi field to ocean park, and i walk almost all the neighbors with my clients and their dogs and i can tell you from first hand experience that once those dogs are adopted, they often need special care and training, and that i have had the most success in rehabilitating those dogs and adjusting them to an urban environment when they have a close relationship with their small neighborhood pet store. they don't always have everything that those owners and dogs need in that store but they bend over backwards to get it to meet the needs of those dogs and their clients and i've had the most tremendous time
working with all of the small animal stores in san francisco and i have also worked and shopped at pet food express. i don't think that they need a fourth store in the city. i think that the most unique and heart felt thing about san francisco is that it's walking neighborhoods and beautiful neighborhoods that are unique and i would like to keep it that way. i don't want san francisco to turn into a place where there's strip malls and where the only option ares the stores are every single one is cookie cutter and looks the same in every place, the beauty of san francisco is its neighborhoods and i love the small stores that cater to the people in those neighborhoods. thank you. >> hi, my name is amy burg and i'm a retailer and a resident of san francisco. san francisco is a city of diversity and character, part of which comes from the small
independent businesses that help define the neighborhoods of this great city. with every chain store that moves into the city, the personality of san francisco is altered and vefrmgly will be like every other city, full of heartless and characterless chain stores, pet food express claims chain stores do not impact independence, how do you define the categories of independence such as pharmacies, local grocery stores, office supply stores, hardware stores to name a few, pet food express has left that space empty for four years since it was turned down for a permit, in that time, they have opened a store in california and divisadero, one mile from the proposed location, the paid proposers from pet food express claim that pet food express is need today clean up the blight of lombard, lombard is not full of blight and secondly, what
blight there is, pet food express helped to create. no doubt pet food express wanted to work with the landlord, they would have helped them sublet it but pet food express decided to sit on the space while he showered animal control and pets control for donations in order to shore up the city support, do we grant them a permit, do we allow the city votes to be purchased by big business? thank you. >> hi, my name's odela, i'm the owner of a small pizza place between lombard and chest nut, i'm the president of the lombard merchant association. our association was primarily created because of the vacancies on lombard, because of the way lombard street has
been neglected for the past ten years or even more than that, currently on lombard street, there's over -- we counted 17 according to the park -- mark ferrel's office, 23 vacant places, they've been hit with graffiti, homelessness and your nation and all kinds of problems on these vacancies, our main goal is to fill up all these vacancies, lombard street needs a big business like that, needs pet food express to open up so it can attract other businesses to open up near it and we need the foot traffic that's going to come that will help all the side streets as well as that are currently struggling. when we talk about the currently closed businesses on lombard, we always forget that these businesses used to be open and these businesses were operating at one point or
another and now they are closed and we don't want to forget that the current businesses on lombard street are struggling. i've spoke with many of them, 45 of them are our members, they're all struggling and they are in need for something like that to happen, they need change on lombard. this is the right thing for change on lombard street. thank you. >> hello, my name is natalie rodgers and i'm a proud owner of a two year-old husky rescue, i shop at animal connection and other small store, not because of the convenience of the location, but also for the customer service aspect of it. when i walk in that sto, they not only know my name but they know the name of my dog and that means something to me not anl as a consumer but as a member of the community. at that moment, i know that that's my local neighborhood
pet store. i choose not to shop at big box stores and i choose to support local small businesses so i encourage you all please support the decision that's will haver been made and say no to pet food express. thank you. >> hello, commissioners, my name is daniel christian son, i'm a resident of san francisco the past 17 years, beyond that, my grandparents met in the mission, i moved up to nevado, went there, went to davis and now i've been in san francisco for 16 years, i've seen both aspects of the city life and the suburban life, san francisco is a community of neighborhoods and in mission, you have 24th street, in burr nel heights, you have cornell street, in chest nut, you have union street, in suburbia, you
have the strip malls where you drive to. imagine the residents of the manbacker marina would drive at pet food express, get their supplies and drive to another community, that's all i want to say. thank you. >> good evening, commissioner, my name is ron lee, i'm a native of san francisco, i lived here all my life, all 63 years, and i work for at&t for 30 years and lombard street, chest nut street, union street, that used to be my area and most of the pacific heights and i see a lot of changes here that went by over the years as i work as a telephone repairman for at&t, and i could see so many vacancies, and i hope that you can approve this so that
pet food express can come in and fill those vacant stores, i mean, that's a huge store, and not only that, i just want to express that all these stories that i heard this evening, i just can't believe people are talking about pet food express. they're a good company, and myself, i went out to some of their rescue operations and i see those sad faces on dogs, you could just look at them and you can see they're almost crying for somebody to pick them up and adopt them, it's very touching and i really do believe that with all the dogs that pet food express saves, there will be plenty of dogs, you know, for all the stores in san francisco, so i don't think pet food express is going to put out any small business. thank you very much, please support pet food express.
(calling speaker names). >> good evening, commissioner, commissioner fong and fellow commissioners, just for the record, right, pet food express never gave me any money, never gave me any food or any type of donations, okay, just for the record. my name is hanley chan, i've been born and raised in san francisco, i own a small business on the bayview, i'm a member of the bayview merchant's association, and i would wish that they would come and build vibrance in bayview. >> excuse me, folks, please refrain from any outbursts.
>> i got three thing, pet food express, good for small business, good for the resident and good for san francisco and that's it, i'm in high support of pet food express, you've seen the diversity of the people speaking, right, and this is what san francisco is all about, it's about diversity and pet food express getting their permit and a vibrant business, alright, thank you. >> for those members that are actually still in the overflow room in room 416, there's a large number of empty chairs in the main chambers here in room 400, so if you want to make your way over to this room, space is available. >> good evening, my name is jim hien, i'm with the american products soeshs, i'm here to speak in favor of pet food express and i'll just get to the facts at hand just to remind you, put food express is called a predatory retail e they do not compete on price,
they are one of the highest retailers in western united states. two, the excuses that are available at all these stores, they represent 60 thousand different skews in a retail store, there are foods that tha* are available nr the smaum retailers that are not available in pet food express, there's hill science diet, blue buffalo, these are not available in pet food express, so our opinion is that those people that are -- these independent retailers are there for a reason and they'll remain loyal to those retailers, pet food express is a good company, michael levy is the man of the year, animal rescue foundation, they support it. thank you very much.
>> good evening, commissioners, my name is michael chan, i'm with asian a, it's just my perspective that really whenever you have a situation and we've dealt with a lot of minority businesses and small businesses everywhere, that when you have a situation where many vacant store fronts, that adds a significant source of blietd and it undermines the community, so if pet food express really wants the opportunity to either succeed or fail in terms of going in, transforming that location into a viable retail operation, then everyone benefits, all the businesses in the area would benefit and if they fail, they go by, you know, they go by the wayside and all, but in this situation here, let's see if something could be done, vacant store fronts, nothing good does come from them. thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> let me call a few more names. (calling speaker names). >> hi, i'm patty stat ton, i'm an animal rescue volunteer and i give my vote for pet express, it started with one location right here in san francisco, i shop at neighborhood pet stores and at pet food express, i'm impressed with what pet food express has done to burden the cat population in san francisco, last time i was there, how many cats have been adopted since they opened, over 400 cats, 18 bunnies and that's a lot of little lives saved, the cat adoption aspect of the new store is a win, win, for the city, for the cats, for the
store, for the adopters, i have never witnessed animal outreach on chest nut store before, it would help bring attention to the plight of these animals, after hearing the opposition tonight, i'm convinced that their fears are unfounded, this is a good company, they want to be good neighbors as they have provender in other san francisco neighbors, my mutts program has given over a million dollar back to rescue, they have a good heart and soul, they're local and i would love to see them give back to the marina side of the city, thank you. >> commissioners, my name is scott turner, i work for a real estate firm and we were asked to do a lombard street analysis and retail study which i believe you guys have,
obviously a lot of things have been discussed about the crime and the statistics you guys probably have with 50 crimes which have happened between the timeframe of december 16, 2012 to january 16, 2013 obviously with a retail store there, that will probably go away, vacancy, you know there's certain blocks on lombard that are 40% vacant,, we need to revitalize tha, i want to bring to everyone's attention is duplicity in retail is a fact, let me point out a few things here, we did a sample of the categories basically along chest nut, union and lombard. there are 50 women's clothing stores, there are 29 nail salons, fitness studios or jim -- gyms, 8 coffee shops, four pet store, that doesn't compare to the 29 nail salons, there is room in the marina for another
pet store to provide options to the consumer, let's think about the consumer, retail diversity allows retailers different products, different services, pet food express is going to bring that. we're not asking them to come to pet food express, we're giving them an option, they'll still be in business, we need to get this place leased, it will help out lombard street and the consumers of the marina district. thank you. >> good evening, i'm shawn from fog city dogs on lombard street, i support pet food express largely because i found that competition is healthy in my own experience, i have had four other boarding facility, pet care facilities open near our business, our sales have
only grown, in addition, since the california store opened, my retail sales have grown, i don't do a lot of retail sales but obviously they haven't impacted my sales and i'm not feeling threatened from this either, i would like to see other businesses open because it's obviously good for business, it drives foot traffic, it will bring other pet owners to the area, that's good for me, i think that's good for lombard street. thank you. >> hello, my name is chris jones and i've been a resident of san francisco for the past 12 years. i've also served in the u.s. army for the past 22 years and a few years ago, i was deployed overseas to iraq and while i was gone, the owner and staff of catnip and bones said they wanted to service my dog while i was gone for the year, and
they took care of the medical and some of the boarding and the food and bathing and that type of stuff and that was a huge burden that was lifted off me while i was deployed for that year, and i use that kind of as an example of what small business does in the community like the marina, and i think that personal touch that they can give to their residents is what adds the value for someone like me, so i'm a big advocate and i'm a big supporter of keeping the small business pz or supporting the small businesses in the marina and other neighborhoods in san francisco. thank you. >> let me call the last batch of names. (calling speaker names. ).
>> good evening, i'm mary smith, i'm been a resident of san francisco for 28 years and of the marina for the past 11 and a half, i have a little dog and we spend a lot of time at catnip and bones, part of the reason that i moved to that neighborhood is because of the community spirit and i support both catnip and bones and animal connection because in all the years that i've lived in the marina, anything that i've wanted or needed, i have been able to get right away from their stores or they have been able to get something for me and they have been moral support when i was losing my prayer dog and i do hope that we can protect that kind of sensitivity of our beautiful marina neighborhood and i am completely against big box that
will definitely not add to the community unless they want to have their parking lot be free so that the people who shop there can roam around the neighborhood and frequent all of the small stores and i haven't heard anybody support that idea on their behalf, but because this was already resolved four years ago, i'm sorry that we're having to address it again and i hope that you will stand by the law and the restricts and not permit the conditional use permit. thank you. >> hello, my name is [inaudible] and i live in the marina, i oppose pet food express because their existing store st very good, it is well located, i can get there in minutes, as a consumer, i enjoy
the diversity, we have pet food express just minutes away and it's not hard to get to and they have a great parking lot and i'm aware of the great things that pet food express does but we don't need one on lombard mainly because of so many things that were already spoken about lombard looking a bit sha*f have i because of -- shabby because of lack of businesses, if pet food express comes to the lombard location, that small business will be affected, it's not a stretch, and that as a daughter of a small business owner and of someone who always has worked for small businesses, it's hard enough as it is on chest nut street to run a business, there's a lot to keep up with a business there and it's -- they're wonderful stores and whatever i can't get there, i will go somewhere else and it's like a big box store, if they
have something there, i will go to it, and it is accessible. i do fear for the change in our neighborhood that it's a destination that people from all over the world and the city in itself come to for the diversity and we hope to have it for many years to come. thank you. >> hello, commissioners, my name is christine hom, i'm a san franciscan native and have lived here all my life, my father grew up in the marina and he attended galileo high school in the 60's and 70's where he worked as a newspaper boy in the marina district, he shared stories about all the mom and pop stores in the neighborhood when i was young and her the marina has exchanged a lot over the past few decades but the one thing
that hasn't changed is its tradition of small businesses, please preserve my city's history, sbekt and commitment to independent stores and deny pet food express's bid to open up yet another store in the city, i'm proud to be from a city that supports small businesses. thank you. >> good evening, commissioner, my name is sylvia, i work as a registered nurse here in the city, i have a cat and i have a dog, pet food express provides valuable, good services and monetary support to local animal welfare groups, many of which have been heard from today, while there is a wonderful form of outreach and provides great marketing, it could not cloud the planning
issue before the commission. pet food express's donations have increased since its denao*il in 2009, we would imagine that this good will will continue even if they are denied a conditional use perm. denying this conditional use permit is not punishing a successful local business, pet food express chose to leave san francisco for san leandro and a few years ago moved its headquarters to oakland, further denying the conditional use permit is giving other small businesses who are committed to their neighborhoods the chance to be equally successful in a difficult retail environment. the unique and diverse shopping districts rely on the individual small businesses that make their home there. while formula retail can't provide needed services to a
neighborhood, it can homogenize it, making it less desirable to outside communities, we need to maintain and support diversity, it is specifically for that purpose, please deny this permit today. >> good evening, i live in the marina a block from chest nut street and i've lived there for about 20 years now. before that, i lived in mill valley so i've seen the change ins the bay area, there's a pet food express in mill valley and there's a pet food express on california street not far from the marina, i moved to the marina because of the charm and the conveniences, as a marina resident, i see no value in pet food express on lombard street
in my humble opinion and the supply and demand is currently being met not only in the marina but also in the pacific heights area. planning commission, please help preserve our community and vote no to pet food express. if not, i fear animal connection, catnip and bones will fold as studies have proven time and time again, they are so much more than pet stores to me and the marina residents alike, they are socializing places which essentially help the community stay vibrant, connected and informed, it's what makes the marina so special and unique and let me tell you, i have a 7 pound shocker shearer terrier, i have a special needs dog and not only is my dog special needs, he thinks he's a rot wiler, i provide information of
what to do in the city, i'm the neighborhood watch city, i know and watch out for my neighbor, i won't get that kind of feeling and vibe in a pet food express store, so it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my dog and i know that might be irrelevant to some people but it's relevant to me. thank you. >> good evening, any name is eric ceg, i was born at ucsf, i had the privilege of going all through public schools in san francisco, i went to lowell high school, berkeley, i practiced for the federal public defender giving back my time and trying to give back to this community. i've had the privilege o*f having several rescue animals, most of whom have quom from san francisco animal care and control, a ca